Bolloré Increases Aegis Stake

NEW YORK French corporate raider Vincent Bolloré has upped his stake in Aegis Group to more than 8 percent, according to statements posted today on the Bolloré Group and Aegis Web sites.

Bolloré Group confirmed a purchase in the last two days of 18 million shares. (Bolloré is also chairman of Havas, but his Aegis investments are being made through a separate company.)

News of the additional share purchase came a day after Publicis Groupe CEO Maurice Lévy said during an interview at New York’s Advertising Week that Publicis was interested in Aegis, but a deal was not imminent. Still, he said of the two agencies, “there is a fit for us.”

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Aegis officials declined to comment on the situation beyond the postings on its Web site. Publicis could not immediately be reached.

Bolloré Group officials declined comment on Tuesday.

Last week, Publicis confirmed talks with Aegis, while the latter said discussions about a $2.8 billion acquisition had taken place. Aegis, which owns the Carat media agency network, did not identify the suitor.